Terry Fogarty is an attorney whose primary area of practice at our office is Estate Planning and Probate. After earning his law degree during his service in the United States Air Force, Terry entered private practice. He has experience in real estate, estate planning, and civil litigation including handling decedent’s and guardianship estates for both minors and disabled adults. Terry also works with families to create their estate plan including Wills and Trusts. For those families which include a person with special needs, Terry works to create Special Needs trusts and will explore other tools available for unique family circumstances. Terry joined our team at Gwendolyn J. Sterk and the Family Law Group P.C., in 2019.
What do clients look for in an attorney?
A: In addition to knowledge and experience in the field, I believe that it is important for an estate planning attorney to also have the compassion and empathy to see each unique situation from the client’s perspective, which helps to create a customized plan that fulfills that person’s unique needs and desires.
Why did you choose Estate Planning and Elder Law?
A: I was drawn to estate planning in law school over a decade ago, taking many courses on the subject. As a husband and father, I know how important it is to have a plan in place. I take pride in working with people to make sure they protect themselves and those they love. It is a very fulfilling area of law!
What is your greatest fulfillment as an Estate Planning/Probate attorney?
A: My greatest fulfillment is knowing that I have helped those who may not be very knowledgeable about their options to better understand how the estate planning process works, and how they can best protect their family and themselves.
How do you get away from stress and separate your work from your home life?
A: This is a tough one…It can be hard to separate work and life in the face of deadlines. But I have five children who are happy to give me things to do when I am not working! I love spending time with my family and taking them hiking, fishing, or some other outdoor activity (away from video games and cell phones).
Who is your hero?
A: I have many people I admire greatly, but the one that stands out most to me is Benjamin Franklin. He was a self-made man, an inventor, a statesman, and was not afraid to stand up for his beliefs.
What is your favorite quote?
A: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison
What do you do in your spare time?
A: I enjoy woodworking, mechanical projects, and electronics projects. I am currently restoring a motorcycle and converting it to electric, as I thought this would be a great challenge and a fun project.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
A: My biggest accomplishment was attending law school in the evening while serving full time in the military. It took a tremendous amount of discipline to attend school each night while working all day and still find time for my family. I am still surprised I was able to get through it!
How do you like working with Gwendolyn J. Sterk and the Family Law Group, P.C.
A: I find everyone at the law office to be extremely knowledgeable, well-organized, and easy to get along with. There is truly a cohesive atmosphere where everyone is working together toward the common goals of providing outstanding legal service and client satisfaction.
What is a fun fact about you?
A: I was a Chinese Linguist in the Air Force. I am a little rusty but can still speak and read Mandarin.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: My favorite holiday would have to be Halloween. My younger kids get so excited to get dressed up and go out trick-or-treating, and we always have a great time…then I eat their candy!
Are you connected to the counties in which you practice?
A: I am. I am a member of several county bar associations and legal organizations, as well as peer networking and resource groups throughout the Chicagoland area.
If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
A: Probably a hawk. I live near the forest preserves and hawks are everywhere. They are beautiful animals at the top of their food chain, and I love to watch and listen for them when I am out with my wife and kids.